One of my biggest struggles in this journey is comparing my journey to another persons. I can easily find myself looking at someone else who is losing weight and begrudging them their success because they don’t “appear” to be working as hard as I am. I find myself jealous of some because their body doesn’t plateau as easily and they can get away with eating Mickey D’s every day and still lose 2-4 lbs a week while I follow my plan perfectly both nutritionally and training wise and perhaps see a gain.
There is also a reverse comparison that happens as I look at the body building demographic. They couldn’t possibly understand what it is like to lose 200+ lbs or what it is like to be in this ongoing transformation process emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Right? Wrong. (More on this in another post)
The problem with comparing yourself to others is this. Our bodies are not the same. They respond to different things in a very individualistic way. Imagine that…a body that has been created so uniquely by a very creative God, responds uniquely to different dieting methods. What works for me may not work for you and it may not even be healthy for you to do what I do in a given week.
The other problem with comparing is that you/I miss out on an incredible relationship and support that could be had, if only I wasn’t so caught up in jealousy over someone’s journey. I realized this as I almost missed out on an incredibly supportive and inspiring relationship I have right now with a woman I met through Leif Anderson Fitness. My friend Julie started her transformation at about the same time as I did with Leif. However, her journey is not mine and when I saw pictures of her I thought, “what does this girl have to lose?” In all honesty, I did not want to like this woman. But doggone it she was so nice and kind and was always encouraging me in some way to stay in it when I was really struggling and in the midst of my self-involved struggle, it APPEARED that it was easy for her. Fuel for the jealousy fire, let me tell you! The truth is, it wasn’t easy for her, not then and not now…although it is probably easier now for both of us now that we kind of know what to expect from the process. Currently, Julie is done with fat loss and is working on muscle building. I cannot even fathom that journey, not when I still have so much fat left to dissolve! This is what I know though. Julie works hard. She meal preps and eats much the same as I do. She has to schedule her workouts in and make time for herself, forsaking fun stuff at times to get it all in or when she is struggling and doesn’t know if she can handle remaining on plan and going to a party. She is just as committed to her process as I am to mine.( I am posting this from my phone, I will link to Julie’s blog once at home so you all can be inspired by her too!) We are in this together even though the journey looks a little different. We both struggle with using food for comfort and with wanting to go off plan at times. I would also imagine that there are times she really doesn’t want to go out in the cold to go get her workout in. But she does it.
If I had allowed myself to stay in that place of comparison, I would have missed out on a great friendship that inspires me and challenges me to be better, to do better, and to stay in this process. Comparing ourselves to others, does nothing but limit the possibilities and create walls of prejudice between people where there doesn’t need to be any. Be surprised by what comes of it.
So, if you find yourself in a place of comparing, take a moment and look at the person. See what they are doing and perhaps take an interest in them. You might begin to see far more similarities than differences and you just might